National Museum of Malaysia
Jalan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
National Museum of Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Reviews
Small, well-organized, and just the right amount of learning Jan 19, 2016
The National Museum of Malaysia, or Muzeum Negara as it is locally known, is situated near KL Sentral station, and showcases Malaysian history going all the way back to the first humans. You'll find a section for prehistory, the Malay Kingdoms, colonialism, and modern Malaysia
The prehistorical gallery was by far the most impressive. In it you'll find the world's oldest skull from human remains, dating back to 40,000 years ago, found in the Niah Caves in Sarawak. The museum also holds the skull of "Java Man," the purported "missing link" between humans and other primates. The rest of the gallery is full of prehistoric pottery, burial artefacts, and dioramas depicting cave men and their wall paintings.
The other three galleries are very informative, though most of the information is displayed through holographic dioramas, mannequins, and placards. Few actual artefacts.
It's a small museum. You can see everything easily in about an hour. The building itself is actually quite beautiful. The interior is mahogany, blue tiles, and white walls with decorative patterned windows to let the light in. The effect is a bit church-like. A bit ironic for a national museum in a Muslim country, but hey, I make comparisons to what I know.
It's easily within walking distance from the botanical garden and KL Sentral. There is a tunnel connecting the garden to the museum. From KL Sentral, you'll have to cross the highway and descend some stairs, but it's manageable. And it's very cheap, only 5 RM (about 1.25 USD) for foreigners.
CORRECTION: The skulls were replicas. A little disappointing that the actual skulls weren't in the museum, but the exhibit was still extensive and informative.
Part of the Living in Malaysia 2016-2017 travel blog
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Definitely must visit museum, and a good place to start Nov 22, 2014
Located near KL Sentral, the National Museum of Malaysia (or sometimes just called "National Museum") is very much worth visiting, once you find it. And a good first place to start your Malaysian adventures.
But getting to it, is a whole another matter, if you are trying to get it by walking from KL Sentral. And that may be the biggest problem when visiting the place, though not really the fault of the museum itself. You will have to walk along streets with very narrow sidewalks, or none at all. Either that, or take a bus or taxi to get there. I had a local help me along the way, as the directions that I have gotten either from hostel staff or guidebooks, were no help at all.
Once you get there, make sure you look for the National Museum or Muzium Negara (the Malay translation), as there are different buildings with different exhibitions, all of which have separate admissions. You will have to go to a ticket booth to pay for admission. There may still be some construction happening in the area.
The museum itself, is very well-organized. It is divided into 4 separate galleries, each one focusing on a different time period on Malaysian history. They are:
Gallery A – Early History – basically prehistoric times
Gallery B – Malay Kingdoms period
Gallery C – Colonial Era (when Malaysia was conquered by various colonial powers)
Gallery D – Malaysia Today (from World War II to the present day)
A lot to see, and very extensive, but also very informative, with good English descriptions. Definitely give this place at least 2 hours. I think the most interesting displays are in the Malay Kingdom gallery, starting with the palace door leading into the gallery.
There are some displays outside of the museum, and the building itself is worth a look, which is built in the Malay architecture style. And the main hall is nice to look at as well.
After visiting this museum, it made me wish that I had more time in Malaysia, as I learned that there is so much more to see than I planned to see on this trip. In any case, this museum is definitely worth the time, once you get to it.
Part of the Malaysia 2014 travel blog
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